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Kushal with his mother and Dr Nandini Gokulchandran at Karnataka Press Conference

Bengaluru Boy Kushal battles Muscular Dystrophy with Stem Cells


Case Report:

Cell Therapy, A New Hope To Fight Against Muscular Dystrophy

Bengaluru based 14 year old Kushal Able To Stand and Walk, further, Delay Death With Cell Therapy Treatment.


Mysuru, June 29, 2018:

14 year old Bengaluru based K. R. Kushal, is a known case of Muscular Dystrophy. Kushal's growth was fine in his early childhood days, and it was only when, Kushal started sensing weakness in his body at the age of 11 years, did he and his parents realize that something was not right. Without wasting much time they immediately took Kushal to a local doctor who diagnosed him with Muscular Dystrophy.

"My early symptoms included lower body weakness. I was able to move around and walked a few steps with some support. I was dependent for moving in bed while sleeping, transferring from bed to chair or chair to bed and activities of daily living. My condition kept on deteriorating. Within a year, I had completely stopped standing up on floor or chair, and stopped climbing stairs. I started facing a lot of difficulties in overhead activities like bathing myself, attending school, playing with friends, etc. I had partially become bed ridden" - says Kushal.

Understandably, it was very difficult for Kushal and his family to cope with this excruciating fact, but they took it as a challenge and started exercising from the very beginning of the diagnosis. His parents stood by him throughout and kept on encouraging towards betterment.

Kushal tried various medicines ranging from Ayurvedic to Allopathic, but that did not help him much towards improving his condition nor by halting the rate of progression.

"One day, during 2017, as I was surfing the internet to research about treatment for muscular dystrophy, I happened to come across Dr. Alok Sharma's talk on Cell Therapy for muscular dystrophy. I shared my reports and videos for a consultation and received a quick feedback answering all my queries. This gave me a better idea about the treatment and a ray of hope towards improvement. My family and I decided to get me treated at NeuroGen BSI, without wasting any further time.

The chief complaints found on examination were that his weakness was gradually increasing in lower body and increasing fatigue. Kushal was unable to walk, run and climb stairs without support. There was a sudden fall while walking. He was unable to shift and get up from the bed. His mobility had reduced.

At NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute, Kushal underwent cell therapy along with a customized rehabilitation program in Sept 2017. He was given exercises to improve his ankle and toe movements, to strengthen his weak muscles and to improve his balance on standing. He was also given therapies to increase his overall stamina and to strengthen his lower and upper limbs. Together, the aim of the rehabilitation program was to improve his overall quality of life. Kushal continues the Neurorehabilitation suggested to him at home even after treatment and his progression has not only halted but he is showing gradual improvements.

The improvements seen in Kushal post the cell therapy are that today Kushal is able to stand and walk without support. He has a better posture, reduced fatigue, strength in upper limbs, trunk and neck. He is now able to lead an independent life as compared to before.

Kushal is a college going student, and aspires to become a Software Engineer without letting Muscular Dystrophy hamper his life and dreams. "Do not lose hope, aim high and target your goals without letting any illness put you down." says Kushal.

Dr Nandini Gokulchandran further said "Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most severe form, where the lifespan of these children is around 20-22 years. It is emotionally, physically and financially draining for the parents of these children. As there is no treatment modality to halt or control the progression of the disease, the family has to see their child wither away. Therefore, we need to broaden our outlook and explore newer treatment strategies, which can at least control the progression of this disease. Cell therapy has emerged as a treatment option in the recent years, which has shown its positive impact on the progressive nature of this disease."

Dr Alok Sharma said "The conventional treatments for Muscular Dystrophy fail to act at the level of injury. No treatment options have been able to slow down the progression of the disease, stop or reverse the pathology. Since it is a genetic disorder, the ultimate answer rests in gene therapy, which has not yet reached the clinical setting. Cell therapy has been the area of interest of researchers globally in analyzing its role in muscular dystrophy. Numerous animal and human studies of cell therapy in muscular dystrophy have shown the beneficial effects.

Cell therapy is a productive and safe tool in the management of patients with muscular dystrophy. It has shown functional as well as radiological improvements in these patients, which enhances their quality of life."

Dr Alok Sharma further concluded by saying "For all those millions of patients who had been told earlier that nothing can be done medically for your illness, we can now say to you with reasonable confidence that with the availability of cell therapy and combined with neurorehabilitation, that better days lay ahead of you."